In Dreams
by Siryn

She knows things about each one of them, things the others probably don't know. When she can't sleep, she wanders Serenity, listening to her rattle and hum and catching tiny pieces of her crew in her mind.

Mal still dreams of Serenity Valley, of being in a trench of dead bodies, only now the bodies are all the same person, her dark hair matted with blood and eyes glassy and unseeing.

Zoe's dreams are vague and shadowy and she's always chasing something, but River can't ever see what it is.

Wash wants a son, who sometimes looks like him and other times like his wife. But always, he's teaching him how to fly, to spin and turn out in the black, the stars shooting by.

There are more shadows in Kaylee's dreams now. The sunny, grass- filled fields cloud over so fast that she's stuck outside in a raging thunderstorm, calling for someone, anyone to find her. Her knight changes every time - Mal, Simon, her daddy, and even Jayne and before she wakes up the clouds pull away and the sun is peeking out again.

Inside the shuttle, Inara sleeps more dreamlessly than the others, only the occasional thread spinning into to her mind. She sometimes wants to ask if the music she hears means something, since she hears it every time and whose arms are wrapped around Inara so tightly.

Book has dreams of sitting by a quiet mountain pond, surrounded by thick trees. He's always trying to stay there, but something's pulling him from his peaceful place and shattering the silence.

Her brother still dreams of home. Of her parents welcoming them with open arms and helping her find herself again. But he only sees the River she was before, not the one she is now. Lately, she sees Kaylee there too, with gold on her left hand and a swell in her belly.

But no one surprised her more than Jayne. She expected violence, but what he dreams is soft, almost delicate and so unlike the man himself. There's a woman and she's singing something so softly she can't make it out, but a feeling of wholeness and contentment washes over her. She once spent the entire night sitting in front of the hatch to his bunk, just to hold onto that feeling.

There are times when she has perfect moments of clarity. The dark veil covering her mind lifts and she can see and think in a clear, linear pattern. It's those times that she covets and tries to hold onto as they slip away, scattering like leaves in the breeze. That's when she tries to piece together the meanings of what she's seen, like solving a puzzle. Reconciling the people she sees everyday is more difficult when she can see what's under the surface.

She herself rarely dreams. The drugs Simon give her make her sleep soundly, but she can sometimes remember things. Like the one of her sitting in a huge library and knowing she's going to read every book there, soaking in the words and knowledge like a sponge. There was one of her parents too, but she has a feeling that might be Simon's thoughts superimposing over hers. The last one woke her from a dead sleep, covered in sweat and legs twisted in the sheets. A low, rough voice was still echoing in her ears, the phantom weight of him pressed against her and her body felt languid, sated even. The next morning at breakfast, she heard that voice from across the table and blushed crimson, glad that no one could see into her mind at that moment.

There's a song, from a fairy tale that came from the Earth-that-was, which says a dream is a wish your heart makes. But she knows that can't be entirely right, but she supposes it's not wrong either. They're more like reality broken and twisted to suit the person. Which only makes her wonder more about the dreams she doesn't see.


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